I'm just curious as to why everyone doesn't want kids. I have a multitude of reasons myself. First off, for selfish reasons, I simply have never had any desire whatsoever. I'm 28, and I thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster every day of my life that I'm not a breeder. I rarely ever meet anyone who is actually happy with their kids. Sure, in between complaints, they might say, "nah, but I really love them," but I think a lot of people had them on accident or didn't know what they were in for.

Regardless of how breeders end up feeling, I just don't like kids that much. They can be fun to hang out with sometimes if they are well parented, but I wouldn't want to take one home to stay. They take up too much time and attention and I don't find them all that interesting. I want to be able to move and travel, not having to worry about finding a babysitter, or taking them with me on vacation, or dragging them away from their friends to move to a new state. I've always enjoyed having a lot of time to myself, and if I had kids, I'd hardly have that.

From an unselfish view, I don't think I have the right to bring someone into this world. It's not my life - not my choice. This world is pretty messed up. All sorts of shit can happen: rape, assualt, murder, accidents, mental illness, other diseases, etc. If I can guarrantee someone's happiness, I don't think it's right of me to bring them into this world. Then, there's the enviornment. I don't want to make myself have an exponential carbon foot print by breeding. We already use too many of the earths resources and cause a lot of pollution. One of the best ways to help with that is to not create another human.

On a side note, I did a ten-minute speech in college for speech class on this very subject and a lot of the written comments I got back were dumb shit like "this guy is depressed; he should get help." It's pretty dumb when people think there's something wrong with you because you acknowledge the dangers of this world and are sympathetic about how that will affect future children.

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It pisses me off as well. To me, it seems like a last ditch effort to scare someone into having children.

I find it funny that people tell me I'm being selfish for NOT having children. As if I'm somehow required to give birth because I have the ability. No thanks.
That's what I said. Most people are throwing their parents into homes whether they like it or not these days anyway. And ask my grandparents about their kids taking care of them...they hit the genetic lottery and 2/3 of their children were mentally challenged. Sometimes they stop by, but they're not capable of taking care of their parents. This "I'm gonna have a kid to take care of me" plan could backfire badly; there are also people who are getting on in years and still have to take care of their adult children.
I am so happy that others feel the way my husband and I do! I get the strangest looks and comments from people when I tell them I don't like kids and I don't want them. I believe one of the posters received a comment like "well, you'll change your mind". Well, my husband and I have actually talked some about having a child - notice I said A child. Not 2 or 3 or 18. However, we have talked about raising our child to be environmentally conscious, animal loving, and basically growing up to save the world. We are not in any position financially, emotionally or otherwise to accept a child into our lives. We have looked at the adoption option and frankly, at $20,000, that's ridiculous. Taking care of our 6 non-human mammals (all kitties) is strenuous enough! We love to travel and take off at a moment's notice. I am 35 and my husband is 47 - I don't think there will be much mind-changing at this point!
I didn't have children for many of the same reasons you all have stated: I'm too selfish with my time/money/attention and have not been a big fan of being around them a lot -- especially 24-7. I think a lot of the reason for the second argument, however, is the way so many parents allow their children to behave (or not - as is too often the case). Many parents have absolutely no problem allowing their kids to bother strange adults. There are two little girls (around ages 5 and 7) who hang around outside my apartment building a lot. When I get home from work, they see me coming and immediatelly launch into details about their "my little ponies", both talking over the other one, neither stopping to take a breath. And in the evenings, I hear them out there screaming that terrible, bloodcurdling, high-pitched screem that makes you think: "how would their parents know if something terrible happend to them when they're constantly screaming 'bloody murder' all the time"?

"When I was a kid"... I was taught (1) not to talk to strangers, (2) to show respect for adults, and (3) adults don't care to hear about your "my little ponies" for 20 minutes. No, really, I know I can be the "perfect parent" because I never had any -- but seriously -- parents let their kids run up and down the grocery isles, knocking into people, knocking things off the shelves -- it amazes me! Forget "please" and "thank you" (now a lost concept, even for a lot of adults) -- just try to control the damage a little?? Please??

I truly believe, but will never know, that I would have produced respectful, intelligent children. --Not only because it's the right thing to do, but because I simply couldn't stand to be constantly at the mercy of a 5-year-old's whims and demands. (One of my coworkers must take his son to Walmart every time they drive to town to buy him a toy. If they don't, he throws a fit -- so what other choice do they have?) -- terrible when the 7-yr-old is smarter than you are...

It saddens me to look around and see, in general, that the most intelligent people I know have the fewest children (or none) and the people I know who are either (1) drains on our society, (2) dumb as a cob, or (3) religious to the point of absolute madness, have the most. (Many people in the latter category share more than one of the traits listed.) This is meant generally, mind you - obviously there are plenty of exceptions where smart people have many and dumb people are... lucky? However, the fact that this seems generally true worries me that the average human intelligence could actually begin to devolve. Any thoughts?

PS: I once raised a very intelligent German Shephard and a more rewarding pursuit I can not imagine!
I've got a few reasons:
1. I remember my own childhood, I can't do this to an innocent child, not even to my worst rival.
2. Not in this country, Germany is one of the worst places to rise a child.
3. I don't like children, I just don't like them.
4. My mother told me nearly every day that she had dreams of doing this and that ect. I don't want to end up like she is. She is the unhappiest person I know.
5. I know my children will hate me.
First of all, let me say how glad I am to find a place like this! And how amazing it is to see that so many people think the way I do, and that there are other people in the world who can come out and admit that they don't like kids. I have been called everything from selfish to a psycho to a monster for not liking kids.

My mom asks me about the child issue in each and every one of her twice-a-week phone calls, even though I have already told her that I will not have any. It is as if I am talking to a wall. And colleagues and friends smile at me knowingly and tell me, you will change your tune in time. Well, I am 31 and I really don't think its going to be "time" anytime soon.
I'll second Tanushree's delight in finding this. I don't want kids for many of the reasons above (just never felt the need, overpopulation issues, not fond of most kiddies I've met) and a few more:

1. I find pregnancy disgusting, which tends to get me more grief than the other reasons for not wanting kids. But really, it's the largest endoparasite the human body can support- ick. I love my sister, but could NOT touch her pregger belly. This has been the target for most of the "It's just not natural" comments. My favorite: "Well, that's pretty maladaptive!" from a behavioral ecologist.

2. I'm more helpful as an enthusiastic aunt than a reluctant mother. One of the main reasons that parenting is alleged to be more stressful than it used to is the decrease in help from extended family. I adore my niece and nephew and am quite happy to do my "filial duty" aiding and abetting their education as they grow up to be (hopefully) rational, well-rounded beings. This I could not do nearly as thoroughly if I were chasing my own little creatures around. Also, helping out my sister is still helping out my own genes- some of them, anyway.

3. (entirely tongue in cheek) I like that my family fits all the criteria for eusociality: overlap of generations, cooperative brood care and division of reproductive labor. It's the wave of the future!

I tend to ignore those who think I'll change my mind, or respond with a terse "well, we'll see, won't we?"
Great reasons all! I'll add my voice to the din. My reasons changed greatly over time and they were all personal.

* In my teens I said I didn't want kids.

* During my 20s I didn't want to have kids because I would have made the Worst. Mother. Evah. Abusive, inconsistent, and neglectful. I knew this and made sure that there were absolutely no accidents. I wish more people would realize this about themselves before they have kids.

* During my 30s I didn't want raise a kid without enough money in the NYC area. By the time we moved and had enough money, it was too late. Too old and too many genetic questions. There's no way I wanted to have a kid entering college as I was joining AARP. Add to that the questionable quality of aging working parts. I'm amazed at the people who don't seem to care about this and decide to use assisted conception at 40+. The risks are just too great.

I have no regrets about being childfree. It allowed me to take care of my own mother when she became disabled, it allowed me to change careers in midlife, and it allowed me to feel free about my life in general. Sometimes I feel left out of conversations in groups of women, but that's no reason to have kids.

For the people who are twenty- and thirty-somethings still plagued by the "kid" questions (especially women, it tends to be worse for us); it's a lot easier when you reach forty. People seem to stop asking you stupid questions about kids.
I agree, Joy.

Have you noticed the same phenomenon as I have as well: That many of the people who bug you with the "kids" question have kids themselves and mostly seem to be jealous of your freedom? It's almost like they're saying, "I have no free time, cannot pursue any of my own interests, and have daily stress over my kids -- why don't you??" I may be just projecting my own thoughts on them - but it's almost like they consider themselves martyrs and wonder why you're not. I don't find it particularly heroic to bring more children into an already over-populated world. (Although I do have respect for those with the intelligence and gumption to actually do the job right.)
Sometimes. Sometimes I think they truly feel sorry for me in the same way that religious people feel sorry for me as an atheist. They can't fathom what life is like without their kids/religion, without them, there would be a huge gaping void that they could never fill. They love their kids dearly and are super-involved and social within their church. They are simply different, but they don't see it that way, so they feel sympathy.

I don't find parenthood heroic either. I think that most of the time it's just something people do, for better or worse. It's part of our drive to continue the species. I don't like parents who think their kids are "special snowflakes" or those who behave like they've "given up" their lives to raise kids. That's ridiculous and it's certainly not doing the kids any good.
Hi everyone, you all have open minds so I thought you wouldn't mind a little counterpoint. Age 15-39 I felt exactly as you do, my reasons were similar. So don't think I think you're weird or anything. But I thought I should tell you my story since I really have a lot in common with you guys except for one thing, a daughter.
Boy did I hate kids, I was an only child, and then at 15 had a very bad experience babysitting. Plus my mom came from a family of 9 (!) yikes! Not to mention that I was terrified of the physical experience of giving birth.
My husband had a close brother and he knew more about what kids are like and he wanted to have kids. I put him off for a long time and he respected my wishes.
Of course you know what's coming, I accidentally got pregnant at age 39.
I agreed to go ahead, but with lots of conditions and more than a few fits of tears. You see one thing I have never understood is why children are always considered so much more important than adults!? I always thought I would hate having a child because they would draw away any hope of doing my own thing, getting any attention myself, and I would be stuck with mounds of work and irritation. I seriously thought I would let my husband do all the parenting, and he was willing . . . .
So I am going to tell you what no one ever fully explained to me, and maybe no one CAN explain to anyone else. The parent-child relationship returns infinitely more gifts to the parent than to the child!
Here's my list: (No one could have been more shocked than I)

- More joy and fun in life! including silliness, play, stories (Children laugh 400 times a day to our 15! and laughter makes you live longer)

- Time slows down. You know how every year the years just seem to go by faster . . . well after the child things move very slow, you get to really appreciate the moments and the wonders of life, not just the big trips but the little tiny minute details that we miss so often.

- Babies crying will no longer irritate you because the secret will be revealed, that's just their way of letting it be known what they need.

- You get to teach them everything about the world and how it works and they appreciate it! Kids may be selfish (but we have all admitted to that quality here) but they are extremely loving and never hold a grudge. Get something wrong and all you have to do is admit it, tell them and they forgive you. Wow, wish grownups could do that instead of keeping baggage.

- Need time alone? they will give it to you. You are the grownup. Just tell them with loving authority and they will give it to you. (my daughter has known the meaning of Grownup Time since age 3)

- A lot of you talk about the time in public with kids, but it is the time away from other people that is so precious - you get to really know a little kid has a personality and likes and dislikes as much as any adult and they know and care about YOU, and help you. (I don't know why kids have such a bad rep on this, mine helps out with very little prodding)

- And talk about fascinating, interesting, challenging. Kids change constantly. Every day is a new day.

So, my point is just keep an open mind on this one because I know I get a lot more than I give. She's 13 - I just hope I don't screw it up. I hope she moves to Australia and never calls me if that's what makes her happy because I have already gotten return on my investment of time 10 fold!

As for the screwed up nature of the world, I do worry about that. But I'm glad my parents did not protect me from it and I have never expected them to be responsible for my happiness. Sheesh! If they tried (after a certain point) I would have killed them. Maybe one of our children will solve the puzzle of fusion or some such.

As atheists, we know our time here is precious, so go, learn about the world and then if you decide to - share it. I think you will be surprised, I was. In fact I have never been so wrong wrong wrong about anything!
I'll bet that most of us already know all this stuff and decided against it anyway.

Sorry, but I've heard all of them, point by point, so many times and rejected them each for various reasons. Frankly, most of it just makes me tired. It's kind of like theists proselytizing to us about their chosen religions - They've got it and can't understand why we wouldn't want it too.

If you have kids and are happy with them, that's fine. Be happy that you have a child that you love. A lot of us are happy to borrow kids and send them home at a designated time.

Some of us really don't like kids, and it's unlikely that they would be fond of their own. Please don't trot out the old, "But it's different when they are your own." What if it turns out it's not true for that person? What if they truly don't like kids? Is that fair to the kid for the sake of an experiment?

For exactly the last reason you list, many of us have made the decision to be Childfree - This is the only life we have and we don't want to get it wrong. This is the decision we've made and we are actually ENJOYING the decision we've made.

Many of us kept an open mind with regard to kids. Society beat us over the head with all the reasons you listed. Like having a god, having kids is the norm in our society. Being childfree is the minority decision and it goes against the grain in our society. I don't think it's difficult for you to imagine how your list of why we should have a god child could be seen here, eh?

Now enjoy your decision, and we will enjoy ours.

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